Archive for the ‘Kobe Bryant’ Category

NBA 2K10 & Draft Combine Trailers

August 26, 2009

2K Sports recently released a trailer for the upcoming NBA 2K10 game, featuring my very favourite person in the whole wide world, Kobe Bean Bryant! Also, NBA 2K10: Draft Combine dropped today for the XBox (us PS3 users have to wait until Sept 3rd to get our hands on it) so I’ve included an extensive trailer for that also. Enjoy!

Humpty Dunkty

July 24, 2009

LeBron James sat on a wall,
LeBron James had a great fall,
You admitted you smoked pot,
Stored the dunk tape to rot,
Can all The King’s advisers,
And all The King’s men,
Put LeBron’s reputation back together again?

P.S. – Don’t worry LeBron, its not like you got accused of rape or anything, you’ll bounce back (now concludes The Hoops Manifesto’s Daily Kobe Bryant Bashing Comment).

It Takes A Village

June 16, 2009

As painful as it is for me to type these words, truth must rule the day – KOBE BRYANT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME. Just where on the greatest of all-time list he falls I’m still trying to figure out – perhaps that will have to be a post for another day. The talk show host on the sports radio show I appeared on today claimed that Kobe is better than Bird, but I’m not conceding that just yet.

Despite being poked and prodded by the media into admitting that this title is special to him because it came without Shaq, Kobe commendably didn’t fall into the fifth estate’s trap and admit it. This was a smart move by him for several reasons -admitting that would belittle his contribution to the three rings he won with Shaq, it would undermine his current teammates’ abilities (“I don’t need Shaq to win a ring, I can win it with a bunch of scrubs”), and despite Shaq and Kobe pretending that everything is lovey dovey between them now, we all know that they still hate one another.

But it takes more than one player to win a championship (just ask LeBron, or Jordan in his early days), and the Lakers secondary performers are as much to thank for this title than Kobe. Too often all the praise or blame for championships won or lost are heaped upon the star player, when in reality no player wins or loses a championship on their own (with the possible exception of Hakeem in 1994). So while Pau and company deserve much of the credit for the championship this year, Kobe also deserves credit for the three rings he won already. Most people (myself included) totally dismiss the fact the Kobe already has won three championships due to the fact that Shaq was on that team. But it wasn’t as if Kobe was just along for the ride – in the 2001 Finals he averaged 25/8/6 and in 2002 his numbers were 26/6/5. So while we give Kobe praises for this year’s title, now is also a good time to look back and give the man long overdue respect for the Lakers triumphs in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

My fellow Kobe haters, don’t feel bad – we had a good run. We denied the man his due for much longer than we ever could have hoped. But now that all has been said and done, this championship has allowed Kobe to come out from under Shaq’s massive shadow and take his rightful place among the games all-time greats. So here’s to you Mr Bryant – you are a king among men. Now excuse me while I go vomit.

The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

June 5, 2009

I’m in the middle of the ocean as I type this, which is fitting considering the Magic couldn’t throw a ball in the ocean last night if they tried. When a team known for its shooting touch shoots less than 30% from the field it will always add up to a L in the win/loss column. But things could be alot worse for Orlando. They could have shot well and STILL lost – then they would have something serious to worry about. As it stands now, they can just chalk up Game 1 to a cold shooting night and expect things to be back to normal on Sunday.

What should be of more of a concern for the Magic is the way Kobe Bryant is playing. To say he is playing like a man possessed is an understatement. All his talk about it not being important to him to win a title without Shaq is a lie – he feels he needs it to solidify his legacy, just like the rest of us feel. The Magic players had no answer for Bryant in Game 1 and seemed clueless after the game as to how they should go about stopping him. Their whole “not much you can do but hope he misses” approach to things after the game doesn’t bode well for Orlando. Neither does the fact that pretty much only Kobe went off last night for the Lakers – only two other L.A. players even scored in double-figures – yet Orlando still lost.

Nor does it bode well that Rafer Alston is already complaining about losing his rhythm while he is on the bench and Jameer Nelson is in the game. So while things aren’t as bad as they could be with Orlando, they certainly aren’t magical either.

The Tiger Has Purple Eyes

May 30, 2009

Canadians that have gone onto recently will have been treated to an advertising alerting them of the opportunity to meet NBA legend Jerome Williams at Best Buy in the coming weeks. I’m quite amused that a player who averaged 7 points and 6 boards a game and was out of the League by the time he was 32 is being referred to as a “legend”.

Which brings us to talk about something truly legendary – this year’s Lakers team. After seemingly playing around with the Rockets before knocking them off, L.A. has the look of a champion now, or to get all cliche up in here, they have the “eye of the tiger”. In their dismantling of Denver last night, Kobe and the boys appear to be out for blood. And it probably won’t even matter who the Eastern Conference crowns as their champion, because the Lakers are stronger than both Cleveland and Orlando. As already mentioned here, Cleveland has been exposed as a championship-contender fraud, and Orlando probably doesn’t have a legit chance at beating L.A. unless they get really hot from long range for the whole series.

Meanwhile, all the pieces are there for the Lakers to dominant the Finals – a superstar with a killer instinct, a big man who is happy playing the part of secondary star, role players willing and able to play their roles, and a coach with the most rings in NBA history. In fact, considering Kobe and Derek Fisher are the only members of the team who have blown out 30 candles on a cake, this Lakers team could be dominant for a long, long time. Assuming they can resign Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza, who has probably earned himself a big raise after his play this playoffs.

Which means I’m going to have to come to grips with my hate for the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite possessing the only Lakers home jersey with CEBALLOS on the back of it left in existence, the Lakers have always worn the black hat in my world. My distaste for them has only increased with the rise of Kobe Bryant. While commiserating with a fellow Lakers hater (who especially hates them due to Sasha Vujacic screwing him out of winning bets twice by hitting meaningless three-pointers at the buzzer of blowouts instead of dribbling out the clock), he hit the nail on the head why we don’t like this team. In his words, they are like the spoiled rich kid villains in movies (Caddyshack, Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House, etc.) that terrorize the heroes, steal the girl and have everything go their way, only to have the heroes turn the tables and vanquish the bad guys at the end of the movie. Except, in the Lakers case, it doesn’t appear like it will blow up in their face this year.

Additionally, as a Kobe “hater”, both of the way he plays the game and the way he carries himself, I’ve always had the “can’t win a ring without Shaq” defense in my arsenal. Looks like that is going by the wayside also. All biases aside, Bryant is having a great playoffs and is one of the rare players who actually posts better stats in the playoffs than in the regular season. I still believe LeBron is the best player in the game right now, but with the game on the line there is no one I’d rather have take the last shot than Kobe Bean. As much as all this pains me to say, the truth can not be denied.

So Lakers haters will have to come to terms with the fact that L.A. is probably going to win the title this year. And this could just be the start of the purple reign.

Rolling and Tumbling

May 8, 2009

There is nothing better than some rough stuff to make a series interesting. I was only moderately interested in the Houston-Lakers series until the mayhem that ensued in Game 2. Now this series has become must-see-TV.

It comes as no surprise that Ron Artest found himself in the middle of the bro ha ha. What is surprising is that he isn’t being portrayed as the villain for once. There is perhaps only one player in the League that is capable of taking the villain role away from Artest, and that would be one Kobe Bean Bryant.

Kobe has been known to throw some ‘bows, but the talk that he wasn’t suspended after Game 2 because he is a superstar is just silly. The elbow he laid on Artest was hardly blatant or malicious. However, the fact that he wasn’t punished and Artest was kicked out of the game for getting into his face about it does cater to the belief that superstars are treated differently. Now Bryant knows that he can get away with throwing elbows without any action from the League or from opposing players. If a player can’t even get into Kobe’s smug face to challenge him after a hard foul without getting tossed., there is not much risk that anyone is going to be willing to retaliate physically to a Bryant cheap shot (with the exception being Raja Bell).

Which brings me back to reminiscing of the good old days, where frontier justice ruled the NBA. A time where players like Laimbeer, Mahorn, Oakley and the X-Man weren’t afraid to dish out the punishment (and cheap shots) to opponents. A time where players could stand up for themselves without getting lengthily suspensions. The way things are now, you can’t even foul someone relatively hard without getting a flagrant foul and/or fine and suspension. The Kenyon Martin foul on Dirk being the prime example.

But, going back to Artest again, after what he did in Detroit (aka the Malice in the Palace) we will never get back to those good old days again. The NBA is so sanitized now that a player can’t even take a step away from the bench during an altercation without being suspended. But, what the powers-that-be should realize is that violence sells – why do you think hockey still allows fighting. And a little rough stuff is the best way to create an intriguing, emotional, intense playoff rivalry. And, because of it, I’m more interested than ever in Rockets/Lakers proceedings.